Emergency Funding Approved for Exotic Fruit Flies

Tacy CalliesPests

exotic fruit flies

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) is using $103.5 million in emergency funding to respond to the threats associated with growing outbreaks of exotic fruit flies. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack approved the transfer of the funds from the Commodity Credit Corporation to APHIS to directly support emergency response efforts domestically and internationally to protect producers.

USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt said increasing response efforts to exotic fruit fly outbreaks “is critical to minimizing their potential impact on our nation’s agriculture and trade.” Moffitt added that the funding will enable APHIS to prevent the fruit flies’ further spread before they become established and harder to eradicate.

Exotic fruit flies are among the most destructive fruit and vegetable pests in the world. APHIS is currently addressing an increasing number of outbreaks of fruit flies in the United States and Mexico.

APHIS will use these funds to address known outbreaks of fruit flies in California and increase preventive activities in other susceptible areas in the United States. APHIS and the California Department of Food and Agriculture recently expanded Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata; Medfly), Zeugodacus tau fruit fly and Queensland fruit fly (Bactrocera tryoni; QFF) quarantines in California. The Medfly and tau fruit fly quarantines in Los Angeles County were expanded Nov. 15. The QFF quarantine in Ventura and Los Angeles counties was expanded Nov. 21. Learn more about those actions here.

APHIS will also use the funding to address the increasing numbers of fruit fly incursions in areas of Guatemala and Mexico, where APHIS and cooperators maintain a buffer against northward spread of the Medfly.

Get more information from APHIS about invasive insects and plant diseases.